The relationships built between interior designers and their clients are intimate. I would be lying if I told you otherwise. Clients hire interior designers to create spaces that reflect who they are, and in order for designers to bring that ideal to fruition, a lot of interaction takes place. Phone calls, emails, in-person meetings, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, etc., and many of this conversations take place within the client’s home. All of this to say, communication between interior designers and their clients is very personal, and due to its sensitive nature, there are several things you want to avoid doing in order to keep this relationship synergistic.
Here are 4 mistakes to avoid when hiring an interior designer:
1. Do NOT choose a designer based on price alone.
Every professional interior designer charges differently. Some charge hourly, some are fee based, & some charge no design fee. It simply depends on the designer. – Be sure you are aware of exactly what you are getting for your money. Just because one designer appears to cost less, doesn’t mean there aren’t other fees associated with their services. They may not be completely transparent about it.
Do not forget to address purchasing with a potential interior designer, either. Most professional designers receive some type of trade or wholesale pricing that you as a consumer cannot obtain. How they markup that discount varies though. Some share the discount, some do a cost plus, some charge full retail, – but they all share one thing in common: they are doing this as business and are not doing it for free (unless you are their best friend or significant other).
For my clients, the discounts I receive essentially pay for the design time as though you were paying full retail for the items purchased. So, my design time is basically free! I strive to create win-win scenarios for my clients.
2. Do not choose a designer that you do not trust.
Again, this is a personal relationship, and you need to be able to trust your interior designer. They will be spending a lot of time at your house and in your personal space. In additional, a good designer will want to know you well (your likes and dislikes, what makes you happy, what you really do not enjoy, etc.) so that they can bring your vision for your space to life. – That requires honesty on your part, as well. If you are not comfortable opening up a bit to the designer you are interviewing, they may not be a good fit for you.
The relationships I have cultivated with my clients make me so proud. I have the keys to many of their homes and am profoundly honored by the trust they place in me. Its a gift when someone trusts you to work in their space even when they are not there, and I take this responsibility very seriously.
3. Do not provide an interior designer with an unrealistic budget.
Its okay if you do not know how much everything will cost – a good designer will give you a realistic picture of the money it will require to create the space you want. However, some people think telling a designer their true budget means that the designer will spend all of it and then some. A good designer would not take advantage of your hard earned cash – they want to maximize it. And by knowing your true budget, they then know where to shop for furniture, decor, art, etc. within your price range. Not only are you wasting your time if you give a designer an unrealistic budget, but you are wasting theirs, as well.
4. Do not shop your designer.
This is something that designers really dislike as they feel their clients are using them and wasting their time. If you are going to source and purchase items outside your designer, it is important that you let them know your intentions before starting the project. Most designers are ok with their client’s sourcing items if they know in advance.
Make sure that you read and understand the contract or agreement that you signed with your designer. If you do not, you may have sticker shock when you receive your first invoice. Most designers I know will charge you a specification fee if you purchase something that they have suggested. – Keep in mind, designers spend a lot of time curating choices for you regarding items for your home. If you purchase those items directly without letting your designer know, you are inadvertently telling them that their time searching for those pieces is not important to you. – No one wants to feel as though their precious time is being wasted.
I hope these commonly made mistakes are ones that you can now avoid.
Did this post help you? Did you find it valuable? – Leave a comment in the comment section letting me know!
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Have a lovely day and best wishes on finding the perfect interior designer for your project!